Tag Archives: Richard Smithson

Sheffield Builders find bomb in backyard

Paul Smithson, 59, noticed the shell in his yard on Saturday

Brothers Paul and Richard Smithson, both Sheffield-based builders, found an undetonated World War II shell in their backyard on Townsend Street on Saturday.

The episode caused a small area of Crookes to go into police lockdown as bomb disposal experts from Nottingham moved in to remove the explosive.

Not just scrap metal

The shell had been unearthed a week before the bomb-scare when Richard was excavating the family yard to lay the foundations for a new building.

Thinking it to be a piece of scrap metal, he picked the bomb up and tossed it aside with other debris.

It wasn’t until Paul, 59, and his son Lee took a closer look at the metal that they realised what Richard had dug up.

Possible explosion

“It was rounded on one end and it seemed to be going into a point shape or a dome shape at the other end,” said Paul.

“We decided that it does look more like a shell.”

When the seriousness of the situation became apparent, Paul rang the police. A firearms expert was sent to investigate.

“They decided to call the bomb disposal squad from Nottingham,” said Paul.

The police asked residents in close proximity to the bomb to remain in their front rooms to avoid a possible explosion as the bomb was removed.

This is the first time in Paul’s career that he has found an undetonated bomb. He reflected: “It’s not so bad at first when you think it’s a piece of scrap metal, until you’ve realised that something tells you it’s a shell.”

“Then, you don’t feel so good.”



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